Saturday, November 26, 2016

Waiting for the fog to lift...

It's one of those gloriously foggy mornings, the kind that one gets in my area in late September or early October as the morning air cools over nearby warm water. It's late November, though, and it's the time of year when older lady cousins should be wiping frost from windowpanes, smiling, and declaring it to be 'fruitcake weather'. The fog, and the obscured road ahead, function as metaphor.

It's been quite awhile since I last worked on these pages; it's the longest break I've taken from these meanderings since this project was started. It's a kind of obvious cliché to note that much has changed during my absence from this - this - this what? Diary? Forum? Longer form Social Media? (It's probably best that I not get into a discussion of Facebook at this point, except to note that any entry over a couple of paragraphs in length goes largely unread. The same is true for linked articles, except that people will respond - at length - in high dudgeon to the assumed content from merely reading the title.)

an end of summer garden visitor

Aside from the usual cheery transformations of climate and politics (not unrelated), I've had a personal development of some significance. I've removed myself entirely from the low power Community Radio station I helped create. It's the usual story of frustrations with an all volunteer Board of Directors (I was the President, for a second time), the volunteer staff of 60 some persons, and attempting to manage both. All as an unpaid volunteer. Things erupted over the July 4th weekend; after two sleepless nights in a row, I realized that I just couldn't do it anymore, and resigned. I also walked away from my radio show. I figured that if I weren't easily accessible, I wouldn't be called upon to do things, or, for that matter, feel that I should participate. I'd assumed I was putting the show on hiatus, and would return after a nice rest, but I no longer know if that will happen.

Angel's Trumpet and Russian Sage
The weather this past summer was hotter and more humid than I could take. I spent a small fortune, close to $300.00, for a portable air conditioner. (My rented studio has no windows, just a sliding glass door to a balcony.) As I once passed out from the built up heat in this place, I felt the expense for something I'd only use for a couple of months a year was justified. The heat and humidity also made it difficult to work in the garden. I take care of the much larger Solar Hill gardens; with time at a premium most of my work on my own spaces went to the vegetable garden. The flower garden suffered from neglect.
The late fall crop of raspberries was wonderful, heavily producing over an extended season. I delightedly made an unconscionable amount of raspberry jam, even though I abandoned an entire picking for a week's wilderness camping via canoe trip.

Paddling between Little Tupper Lake and Rock Pond in the Adirondacks.

One of several beaver lodges on the same passage - taken on the way back a few days after the above photo.
Sanity has been maintained through the video projector and many, many movies. Of course, I'm upset with myself for failing to note them. While I'll remember Kay Francis in 'Mandalay', I'll never be able to remember much of the other Kay Francis titles from a Turner Classic Movies DVR binge. Mandalay, by the way, is a hoot. Francis played a good girl sold into white slavery style prostitution by a traitorous boyfriend. After surviving and escaping her time as "Spot White", she ends up killing the traitorous tormentor, falling for an alcoholic ex-doctor, and trudging off with same into the jungles on a mission of mercy to relieve the suffering of plague victims.
Kay Francis as Spot White in 'Mandalay'.
How could I not note a WWII era western, 'Cowboy Canteen', in which Jane Frazee's ranch is turned into an entertainment venue for servicemen stationed nearby? Charles Starrett wanders about, two rollicking numbers are provided by an impossibly young Roy Acuff and his Crazy Tennesseans, two numbers are contributed by Tex Ritter, plus there's couple of numbers from Jimmy Wakely and His Saddle Pals. Add in Vera Vague, plus a few turns by a number of country and western vaudevillians. The toppers (for me) were the two songs provided by 'ranch hands' The Mills Brothers, "(Up a) Lazy River", and "Paper Moon"!
The Mills Brothers, fresh off their farmhand duties (in
spectacularly ill advised costumes), 'rehearse' their hit "(Up a) Lazy River".
Roy Acuff (on the right), and a few of the Crazy Tennesseans,
as they perform "Wait for the Light to Shine". 
I am remembering such things with a little more clarity than had become my custom. I was reading an article on the internet, clicked on a link, and saw a reference to drugs which cause memory problems. I followed the latter link, and found the statin I've taken for years for bad cholesterol listed. I stopped taking it for a couple of weeks to see what would happen. My memory improved! My vocabulary, which I admit I'd downplayed and dumbed down after being told I intimidated people, began to return to everyday use. I'd had episodes in which I'd be doing a tribute show on the radio, and at station break be unable to name the person being saluted. I even heard myself on one show's recording credit Louis Armstrong when I meant Louis Jordan. Things are much better now. The memory isn't as sharp as it once was, but where recalling a bit of once well known information was taking 20 minutes, that action now takes anywhere from 10 seconds to a few minutes. It's not consistent, but it is a definite improvement. It's been six months since I stopped the statin; my doctor went along with this experiment provided I took another cholesterol test after 6 months. The improvement is enough that I'm concerned, lest the test put me back on the damn pills.

Early morning mist obscuring an island with pine trees, reminiscent of a Turner painting, Rock Pond, Adirondacks.

 There's a lot more movies to note, more life events to note (this is a sort of diary, after all), but my late breakfast of oatmeal (with maple sausages, the entire concoction drizzled with maple syrup) is ready. Now that mornings (when I usually do this kind of thing) are no longer spent at the garden, I am going to try to get back in the habit of writing. He said, as the fog lifted.